Individuals Who Test Positive for COVID-19

Steps to take if you or someone you know tested positive for COVID-19.

If you test positive for COVID-19 in Maine, Maine CDC will reach out to you by text message. Text messages will be sent from 22300. Individuals who test positive and are showing symptoms may be eligible for treatment to prevent severe disease. Learn more.

On this page:

 

How to isolate

  • A person should isolate if they tested positive for COVID-19 or if they are experiencing COVID-like symptoms. People who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate regardless of whether they are vaccinated against COVID-19 or are unvaccinated.

    To isolate:

    • Stay home.
    • Have zero contact with anyone else, including household members. If complete isolation is not possible, practice social distancing and other prevention measures within the household.
    • Do not have any visitors.
    • Do not go out in public. This includes grocery stores, gas stations, banks, workplaces, etc.
    • The person can leave their sick room and house for necessary or emergency medical care. Please call the facility ahead of time to let them know.

    Check out "I tested positive for COVID-19. Now what?" for more information about isolation.

When to leave isolation

Individuals may leave isolation when they meet the following criteria.

For people who are not healthcare workers:

  • For people who tested positive and are exhibiting even mild symptoms, you may leave your sick room and house to seek medical care when:
    • You are eligible for treatment to prevent severe disease and have spoken with a medical care provider or "test to treat" facility regarding how to access treatment and are leaving to do so.
  • For people whose symptoms are resolving, leave isolation when:
    • At least 5 days passed since since symptoms first appeared, AND
    • No fever for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication), AND
    • Other symptoms are improved.
    • Continue to wear a well-fitting face mask at all times around other people until after Day 10. If you cannot wear a well-fitting face maks, you should remain in isolation until after Day 10 from when your symptoms first appeared.
  • For people whose are asymptomatic, leave isolation when:
    • At least 5 days passed since the date of the first positive COVID-19 test, AND
    • Symptoms do not develop in the meantime.
    • Continue to wear a well-fitting face mask at all times around other people until after Day 10. If you cannot wear a well-fitting face maks, you should remain in isolation until after Day 10 from your first positive test.
  • For people who are still experiencing a fever or whose other symptoms have remained the same or worsened:
    • Continue to stay home until you are fever free for at least 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medication, AND
    • Other symptoms are improved.
  • Check out "I tested positive for COVID-19. Now what?" to find out when to leave isolation.

For people who are healthcare workers,:

  • Work with your employer or workplace contact (occupational health, etc.) to determine when you can return to work.
    • Your employer will provide guidance based on your vaccination and booster status, staffing situation at your workplace, and this guidance from US CDC.

Seeking healthcare

  • The only time anyone should leave isolation or quarantine is to seek necessary or emergency medical care. If you test positive and are showing symptoms, you may be eligible for medical treatment to prevent severe disease. Learn more about treatment options and how to access medicines here. For visits to any other medical facilities, please call ahead to let the facility know the individual is in isolation or quarantine.

    If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:

    • Trouble breathing
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion
    • Inability to wake or stay awake
    • Bluish lips or face

    This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call a healthcare provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Identifying close contacts

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should determine who their close contacts are and notify them of their exposure.This is important because it helps slow the spread of COVID-19 in the community. Maine CDC no longer notifies close contacts of their exposure in most cases.

    A close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period. Close contact also includes providing care at home to someone who is sick with COVID-19, having direct physical contact with an infectious person (example: hugging/kissing), sharing eating or drinking utensils, or being exposed to respiratory droplets from an infectious person (example: sneezing/coughing). This includes anyone who had contact with the person up to 48 hours before their symptoms developed (or 48 hours before their positive COVID-19 test for asymptomatic individuals).

    People who are not healthcare workers should use this guidance to determine if they need to quarantine. Please who are healthcare workers should work with their employer and this guidance to determine if they need to quarantine.

How to quarantine

  • Close contacts of someone with COVID-19 who are not healthcare workersshould use this chart to determine if they need to quarantine and for how long. Close contacts of someone with COVID-19 who are healthcare workers should contact their employer and use this guidance to determine if they need to quarantine and for how long.

    To quarantine:

    • Stay home.
    • Wear a mask around other people for 10 days.
    • Get a COVID-19 test on day 5 after your last exposure.
    • Monitor for symptoms and check for fever twice a day.
    • Have zero contact with anyone outside the household, though contact with household members is allowed as long as the person in quarantine does not develop symptoms.
    • Do not have any visitors.
    • Do not go out in public. This includes grocery stores, gas stations, banks, workplaces, etc.
    • The person can leave their house for necessary or emergency medical care. Please call the facility ahead of time to let them know.

    Check out "I am a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Now what? (PDF)" for more information about quarantine.

When to leave quarantine

  • Individuals may leave quarantine when they meet the following criteria, provided they do not develop symptoms. Individual employers may require a longer quarantine at their discretion.

    For people who are not healthcare workers:

    • If you have received your COVID-19 booster OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 5 months OR completed the primary series of Johnson and Johnson vaccine within the last 2 months:
      • You do not need to quarantine, but should still wear a mask around others for 10 days and take a COVID-19 test on day 5 after your last exposure.
      • If you cannot wear a well-fitting face mask at all times around other people, you should quarantine for the full 10 days.
    • If you are unvaccinated OR completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than 5 months ago OR completed the primary series of Johnson and Johnson vaccine more than 2 months ago:
      • You can leave quarantine after day 5 from your last exposure.
      • Continue to wear a face covering around others for an additional 5 days.
      • Take a COVID-19 test on day 5 after your last exposure.
      • If you cannot wear a well-fitting face mask at all times around other people, you should quarantine for the full 10 days.

      Check out "I am a close contact of someone with COVID-19. Now what? (PDF)" to find out when to leave quarantine.

      If you live with the person with COVID-19 and cannot completely isolate from them at home, you may need to quarantine for a longer period of time. Follow this guidance for more information.

    For people who are healthcare workers,:

    • Work with your employer or workplace contact (occupational health, etc.) to determine when you can return to work.
      • Your employer will provide guidance based this guidance from US CDC.

Where to find testing

  • For those with COVID-like symptoms:

    • Call a healthcare provider to discuss testing options.
    • If an individual does not have or cannot easily connect with a healthcare provider, go to any state-sponsored testing site for free. An appointment may be necessary for testing.
    • Other testing sites in Maine and nationally are found here.

    For those who are not experiencing symptoms but are close contacts or are traveling from a non-exempt state:

    • Call a healthcare provider to discuss testing options.
    • If an individual does not have a healthcare provider or the healthcare provider is unable to test, go to any state-sponsored testing site for free. Call ahead to make sure the testing site can test individuals who do not have symptoms.

    For those who are not symptomatic, did not travel, and are not a close contact of a person with COVID-19, Maine CDC does not recommend testing.

    See "Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in Maine" for more information.

How to seek help

  • Support is available for people who have difficulty staying at home for isolation and quarantine. Examples of available support include:

    • Assistance with food and food delivery
    • Medication delivery
    • Housing for isolation or quarantine in a hotel

    Visit the "COVID-19 Referral Form" to request support.

    Stressed by COVID-19? Visit "Mental Health Resources During COVID-19" for resources to help everyone cope with stress during this challenging time.